Scaling Innovation for Future-Oriented Growth with Krish Ramineni, Fireflies

Scaling Innovation for Future-Oriented Growth with Krish Ramineni, Fireflies

June 22, 2022

Humans and technology are converging more and more. The only way to stay relevant in the technology industry today is by continuously scaling innovation. Join us this week for a discussion with Krish Ramineni from Fireflies on why quality is more important than speed when it comes to innovation and why work ethic is more important than talent when it comes to employees.

About Krish Ramineni:

Krish Ramineni is the co-founder and CEO of Fireflies.ai, an AI assistant for note-taking in meetings. It helps users gain the most valuable insights from their conversations. Krish was featured on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine: 12 Founders Changing Business 2020 and was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30. 

Business growth through continuously scaling innovation

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, innovation has become the driving force behind sustained success and growth. However, innovation is not a one-time event; it is an ongoing process that requires continuous scaling. Here’s why businesses need to prioritize and scale innovation.

Firstly, innovation is a key differentiator in a crowded marketplace. Scaling innovation enables businesses to stay competitive by constantly improving products, services, and processes. It allows busineses to develop unique value propositions, create innovative customer experiences, and deliver superior solutions that meet evolving market demands.

Moreover, scaling innovation is directly linked to driving business growth. It opens up avenues for expanding into new markets, attracting new customers, and increasing market share. Innovative products and services have the potential to create new revenue streams and drive customer loyalty, leading to sustained growth and profitability.

It also allows businesses to anticipate and meet evolving customer needs effectively. By staying connected to customers through feedback, market research, and data analysis, businesses can identify emerging trends, pain points, and preferences. This enables them to develop innovative solutions that address customer needs and provide a superior user experience.

Finally, innovation is not just about immediate gains; it is also about future-proofing the business. Scaling innovation enables businesses to anticipate future trends, disruptions, and customer expectations. By investing in research and development, exploring emerging technologies, and staying ahead of the curve, businesses can position themselves for long-term success.

Overall, scaling innovation is a strategic imperative for businesses in today’s fast-paced and competitive landscape. By scaling innovation, businesses can navigate uncertainty, seize opportunities, and create a brighter future for themselves and their customers.

Episode highlights:

  • Iterating quickly is valuable in the early days to establish your business as a key industry player. However, as your company grows it becomes more important to focus on the quality and sustainability of execution if you want to continue to thrive. (04:30)
  • Listen carefully to what your customers say about your product/service. Feedback from users is the most valuable guide for how to innovate going forward. (11:44)
  • Customers don’t want to change much about how they do things. If you want people to choose your product/service, you need to provide value without asking them to change too much about the way they are currently doing something. (22:00)
  • Keep this in mind when hiring people: Work ethic, hustle, and drive are more important factors than talent, knowledge, and skill. In an innovative industry, the ability to learn quickly and be adaptable is invaluable; you don’t have to be an expert from day one. (25:00)
Krish’s best advice for entrepreneurs:
“The day you stop innovating is the day that I believe the company really stagnates.” (07:05) To keep growing, keep innovating!

Connect with Krish:

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[00:01:38] A.J. Lawrence: And I think all of us who are having businesses in this time and age, these AI tools are on this kind of, some of them are really, really cool, but they’re not quite there. And some are really doing some things that are like, oh, this helps so much. Just listen as he talks about using them throughout the thing, and this is from a guy who’s actually built a very cool one. So I think you’ll get some good advice from that.

[00:02:03] Also just kind of playing into that same concept, he talks a lot about his efforts to create an innovative organization within his company. So an ongoing innovating company, not just creating innovation in the moment, but an organization that consistently develops innovation.

[00:02:21] And this is something you hear a lot in the tech space. And since our guest today was a senior product guy over at Microsoft, he kind of learned at one of the best organizations for that. Since Microsoft went off, did so much cool stuff then sort of kind of faded, now is killing it in their innovation.

[00:02:38] So his discussion of how he goes about doing that in his organization is something we should think about as we look at what we’re trying to do to help our own companies grow for the long term. Now, it may not be something you’re thinking about in innovation, but you can definitely think about it as being more deliberate in how your organizations can grow and specifically being more deliberate about learning and figuring out what is important for your organization, to consistently learn, what you’re gonna pay attention to, how you’re gonna do that and what actions come out of it.

[00:03:10] So I think as you listen to today’s guest, it’s something you can kind of see if it fits for your organization and then make it your own. The most interesting thing I took from my conversation with today’s guest is, he talks a lot about his focus on what are the next 10 steps that he needs to do for this company. And he’s not talking about the next 10 things, he talks about how they can be for the next day, next week, month, quarters, years, even 10 years down the road. But he’s consistently looking at this concept of the next 10 steps to take his company to the next level. And then what pieces he needs to achieve that type of effort.

[00:03:55] So it is an interesting way when so much discussion of planning and goal setting is like short, medium, long. Today’s guest wraps them together. And I’m not saying it’s the right way or the way you should. But I do think thinking about it in the way he’s going about it could help you maybe look at what you’re trying to do a little bit differently and maybe give you a little more clarity of what you’re trying to do.

[00:04:20] So listen to him, listen to how he describes it. And if you like it, steal it, make it your own. Today’s guest, he’s a Forbes 30 Under 30, as I said, he’s had some great corporate roles before he went off and started his own company. He’s the co-founder and CEO of fireflies.ai. Please, I hope you enjoy my interview with Krish Ramineni.

[00:04:41] Hello, Krish. Thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate you being on here today.

[00:04:46] Krish Ramineni: Yeah, thanks A.J. It’s a pleasure.

[00:04:49] A.J. Lawrence: I was just talking to the audience about fireflies and how cool it seems. And just so much of part of like my life, at least, with all the meetings, how helpful it could be.

[00:04:59] I was reading a little bit about the background, with your partner and, you know, meeting and being virtual and all that. And you’ve been on this for quite a while. Could you maybe share with us a little bit about where you see yourself as an entrepreneur these days?

[00:05:13] Krish Ramineni: Yeah. I believe that when we first started, I did not know much about what it means to be an entrepreneur. It’s like this glamorous title that people throw around. I definitely didn’t know about enterprise software being like this 21-22 year old coming out of Microsoft with little experience on how to build enterprise software. I know a lot of early entrepreneurs are doing consumer companies and building consumer apps. So us deciding to go into the enterprise doing enterprise software, that was a really, really new endeavor for us.

[00:05:47] It’s surprising, but we didn’t even know like what Salesforce actually did. But everyone kept talking about, oh, you guys need to have a Salesforce integration and you realize, oh, Salesforce is one of the biggest CRMs out there, but what do you actually use the CRM for? And we didn’t even know how a lot of the job functions work. So for me, entrepreneurship back then was actually figuring out what is workplace software like and how do you build great workplace software? What are lessons that we can take from the consumer side of things on how you build great productivity apps?

[00:06:17] So that was the starting of my journey. Whereas now, we deal with all sorts of complicated use cases, complicated integrations to ERP systems making Fireflies easy for individual users to use, right? Like where if you’re just a user and you wanna have value by having it join your meetings and take notes, to larger companies that want to automate workflows, where they take the meeting recordings, the transcriptions, get it analyzed, put into Salesforce, fill out call logs and data activity.

[00:06:48] So it’s definitely been a transformation for us, both myself and Sam to learn, in these last four years, all the things that has to do with startups. Now, for me, where I am I think in the entrepreneurial journey is really about building and scaling teams, building and scaling systems once you’re past that product market phase.

[00:07:07] And once you have reached a point in time where you have something that’s working, there’s traction, there’s momentum. It’s about how do you grow it? How do you scale it? How do you be sustainable? So a lot of my thinking is about what are the next 10 steps for fireflies and what are the pieces we have to have in place in order to make that possible.

[00:07:27] And that usually comes down to team, resources, where the market is going and the type of investments we need to make, not just in like a 2-week, 3-week timeline, but really in terms of multiple quarters. So a lot more longer term thinking a lot more strategic stuff.

[00:07:42] A.J. Lawrence: Yes. You’ve now have a successful product. So now you have to actually make sure it continues living, not just keeping you alive. Now, that is really cool. As you look to kind of figure out the teams and the processes and the investments to make, is there a process you go about to kind of set that? How does that go about with you and your partner or, you yourself?

[00:08:05] Krish Ramineni: One of the biggest differences from the early days is early days, you can just throw something on the wall, see if it sticks and then you iterate really quickly. The speed of iteration is always valuable for any company, doesn’t matter what stage you’re at. But it does get harder to iterate faster when you have existing customers, existing infrastructure that you need to build on top of.

[00:08:24] The other challenge is, building is one challenge, maintaining, sustaining. Scalability is another challenge. I use the word scalability a lot, but this idea around reliability, consistency, the reason people can come to fireflies and use it is because they have to trust it to be in every single meeting. We have a joke internally that I can be late to a meeting, but fireflies never can. It has to be there on the dot.

[00:08:46] And it’s a 24/7 operation because before we have all the customers in the US time zone so you have the 9-5 PST, EST and you’re covering that. But then now when you’re global, it’s 24/7 where fireflies doesn’t get rest. The bot has to be there all the time. And so we have our company work on a 24/7 schedule. Meaning there is always someone online at all times, or a group of people, whether it’s site reliability, engineers, whether it’s our DevOps team, whether it’s our customer success and customer support team. There’s a 24/7 operations that we have to take care of.

[00:09:23] The reason I say all that is because we have to keep all that in place while also planning for the next moves, right? Like what do we need to do in terms of new features, new functionality, what do customers want? How do I prioritize? Which customers features are actually important to do this quarter versus next quarter? And then how do we build our infrastructure up? Before when you had fireflies, it was just a hundred users, maybe a thousand users maximum. And so building something you didn’t have to think about what are the implications at scale. Whereas now you have this massive real time system used in millions and millions of conversations on a weekly, monthly basis. So any engineering decision you make has trade offs, consequences.

[00:10:05] That’s where you have to think about sustainability. And can you do some of the things that you do. When we look at some of the best products in the market today, one of the things that my co-founder Sam has always highlighted is Apple does things maybe a little bit later than some of the companies that have come out with it. But they do it really well and they perfect it where it just feels like magic. Right? So that’s one of the things where it’s not about like speed of when you’re in market, but how well you also build it. So that’s also been different. In the early days, it was all about like innovating, innovating, innovating, doing something new, trying to make a mark in the market. To now where it’s about the quality of execution and how seamless is that experience for your customers.

[00:10:47] I think that’s like been the transformation where you have to essentially battle and balance two different things. One is your existing customer base, your existing product line, and then not stopping at innovation. The day you stop innovating is the day I really believe that the company stagnates. And we’ve seen many successful companies over the past couple decades, many companies formed before I was even born that have done that. But then for whatever reason, they were overtaken by someone else. So technology is not a, or this field as a whole, technology is not a field where it’s very forgiving for not innovating.

[00:11:24] A.J. Lawrence: No, I completely agree on that. You and I chatted a little bit before, I was actually really kind of impressed. About three minutes before the scheduled time Fireflies joined or requested to join the thing. So not just being on time, early. So that’s kind of cool that it is there.

[00:11:42] So you’re looking at not just how to keep the product stable, but also innovating within that framework. You don’t want make it too unfamiliar to the users because we get kind of grumpy when you take away that little green button to the left side that we X, Y, Z do with it.

[00:11:59] What do you think has helped you the most in sort of understanding that balance to help you grow?

[00:12:07] Krish Ramineni: When we look at our market and our product, we are very much product led, meaning that we don’t go crazy on marketing or ads. In fact, we haven’t done any ads in the past year. A lot of the approach is where a person experiences fireflies first, and then they sign up and they start using it. So that first time experience is really where we have to put a lot of emphasis. And when we think about features and functionality, yes there’s hundreds of different things we can do, but we don’t want to inundate or overload a customer on all the different things.

[00:12:38] And that’s a challenge that we constantly think about is how do we still keep the product valuable and simple for the people that are using it. And then segment our product, maybe have different tiers of differentiation where you’re an advanced user, you’re gonna get other capabilities.

[00:12:53] So just like this week, we rolled out conversational intelligence, insights and analytics. That’s usually a feature that’s used by large sales teams, teams that want insights into how to coach their sales reps and know what’s being set. So that can be a heavy hitter, right? If you’re like a individual user and you wanna look into that stuff, it could be overwhelming upfront.

[00:13:14] So we have to segment, we have to differentiate. We have to look at our customer personas and what they want to use fireflies for. I think the product is definitely evolving into something where teams can get a lot of value outq of it. And we are moving in that direction where it should be seamless to go from one user all the way up to a team.

[00:13:34] A.J. Lawrence: Well, what are you most excited about what’s coming down the road for Fireflies?

[00:13:39] Krish Ramineni: Yeah, with fireflies, the things that I’m most excited about, we’ve been talking about it for some time is improving on the existing capabilities. So for example, we are coming out with GPT-3 summaries. Today, the summaries and notes that fireflies generates are bullet point notes that take extractions from different transcripts and then key sentences from there. But the new version is actually gonna understand the transcript and paraphrase it like a human would, right?

[00:14:07] The new models are going to be able to actually write it like a human would. And that’s really surprising to us because that was not technology that was possible 2-3 years ago. And that was not something that we thought could even be possible. But with the rolling out of GPT-3 and seeing it, so you can sprinkle a little bit of AI on top and make something that’s already good, more magical. Right?

[00:14:31] I don’t think that AI and machine learning can completely replace a product end to end. But if it’s used strategically in the right places, it can make that experience easier for users. All I think about is how do I reduce effort for a user and what are things that they needed to be doing?

[00:14:49] So, one thing we heard from customers was, hey, these bullet point notes are great, but what I would really like is like a synopsis of the meeting so that I can read like a paragraph and then just instantly have recall of what that happened on that meeting. And I want it to be good enough where I can just forward it to a teammate or forward it to someone.

[00:15:05] So we look at what users do today, how they’re using it, and then how can we make that process better. The common feedback I always get is, hey, before I’d have to send all this information to a client by writing it down. Now with fireflies, I’m like, Hey, don’t worry about it. I’ll just send the recap afterwards. And that’s like magical to us cuz we’re now saving you 20-30 minutes post meeting, right, with all the workflows.

[00:15:28] And then we have other admins say like, Hey, I have to go and sit and review all my teammate’s calls. And that gets a little tedious. And then we now roll out insights where the admin can instantly look at aggregated metrics for a teammate and see common things like, oh, this teammate is talking too much on a call and not letting the customer talk enough. Or, hey, they were using way too many filler words. Or here’s all the times when a competitor is being brought up or here’s some objections.

[00:15:56] So now we’re giving them like, six months worth of calls you’re now able to analyze within 10 minutes or less. Right? So for us, it’s about how do you consume knowledge and information as quickly as possible? And then automate the work that you were doing manually. So that’s what drives all of the product innovation that we’re doing at fireflies, whether it’s the GPT-3 notes, whether it’s our automatic CRM data logging, whether it’s the insights and analytics, we all base it on that core value.

[00:16:24] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah. I love that. Not from a sales background, but from a consulting account background, I used to have a mentor a long, long time ago. It used to be like, all right, the less questions you asked, the better off you’re being if they’re the right questions. And I remember early on, having like these 80,000 questions we had to do for new customers and it was driving everyone crazy at the new client doing this.

[00:16:52] And my mentor steps in for the senior guy and basically asked two questions that had the guy gushing and inviting us out to the pub afterwards. It was like, wait, you only asked two questions and you nodded your head a lot. It’s practice. But like that stuff that you could actually model out that behavior from, since we’re all living so much on zoom, that would be fascinating.

[00:17:14] Just being able to like customer engagement. Yes, the sales is the obvious one, but just positive feedback, all this, you know, tie it into your CRM and see how long, you know, oh, Hey, here’s your customer support stack. Oh, by the way, more questions or more engagement, more empathy, less blah, blah, blah. Talking at, your lifetime value increases by 20X. Oh, wait, that’s a good thing.

[00:17:39] I was playing around with integrations on your site. So I’m really looking forward to have the team, my team play around on it right afterwards. Given how much could be potentially done off of something like this as you start, note taking’s kind of a fun thing, but the reality is if you are able to start providing a deeper understanding of these different interactions, specifically over digital channels as we move to the zoom, where do you see this kind of evolving further down the road?

[00:18:12] Yes, you’re excited now that you’re getting better and the product’s getting better. And GPT-3 you know, getting that into your system. But how much further are you guys looking or are you playing with at this point?

[00:18:24] Krish Ramineni: I think meetings are a starting point for us. So zoom, obviously, that took off during the pandemic. Video conferencing was an entry point for us. We don’t wanna limit ourselves just to your typical video conferencing. We wanna be everywhere where there’s the audio conversations happening. So whether that’s your telephony calls like RingCentral, air call, these are integration partners of ours. Whether it’s async video collaboration that you’re doing, so we have a new loom integration that’s coming out. It’s actually live for our Chrome extension users. So if you wanna automatically sync all of those loom video recordings or updates that you’ve done, you can add to the fireflies repository.

[00:18:59] So our goal is that we wanna build this knowledge base of all your voice conversations so that you can search it, remember it, review it and it create this new sort of Wiki of data, or like all-in-one workplace where you have all of this information. Now that’s looking much farther ahead of what is fireflies and what does it become. So we look at it because you’re coming in for the AI note taker, but you’re really staying for the knowledge base.

[00:19:28] You are having information from a year ago that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s not in your emails. It’s not in your docs. It’s not in your chat messages. It is in fireflies almost exclusively. And so that’s why a lot of people say like fireflies is my new system of record for all of my voice conversations.

[00:19:46] Imagine if we lived in a world where you lost every email after you sent it. That’s what video conferencing is like today, where you’ll have a conversation and then it’s gone. There’s no archive of it. There’s no retrieval. There’s no information to remember. So if we just start with that point, a Gmail outlook, they are the greatest source of your conversations, right? So your system of record for conversations.

[00:20:10] A lot of the CRMs today are built on top of taking all that email data and then like storing it, archiving it, making it meaningful. Google search, like the Gmail search is such a powerful feature. And if you think about it, we need to apply that to voice. I am talking way more in conversations. I’m spending way more time in meetings. Meetings are very expensive, right? It can be a couple thousand dollars. If I get five people in a meeting and you know, they’re high level execs, it’s gonna be very expensive. And so every word counts, every minute counts.

[00:20:41] And for us, that’s like the bigger calling for fireflies is this is a knowledge base. This is a system of record for all your voice conversations. And now that we have that part down and we’re capturing conversations from everywhere for everyone, let’s look at what are the use cases and things we can build on top of it. Integrations is one place. Automating workflows is another place. For us to provide insights is another opportunity.

[00:21:05] Once you have the data, you can provide so much value on top of it. And we talk about sales as a low hanging use case, but that is a very small percentage of our customer base. We have folks in recruiting, we have folks in consulting, we have folks in customer success, folks that are using it for internal Ops and product management decisions. So the use cases are endless. So we also have to keep in mind as we build that the value has to extend beyond just the sales use case. So that is something that we have to keep in mind. And then now, when you come to the unit economics of how you do this and the GTM, there are enterprise products out there that will charge $150, $200 per seat.

[00:21:41] And some people ask, why are you making fireflies like so affordable where it’s like a $10 per user. And our answer to that is we want a price for scale, meaning we want fireflies not to be just used by your sales team. But it should be used by every single person in your organization, because it is your team’s knowledge base.

[00:21:59] So your recruiter should use it. Your HR team should use it. Your marketing team should use it and your team should be cross collaborating across the data. We see so many times where a sales person or a customer success person says I love it. And I love the data entry and automation aspect of it in my CRM, but my marketer loves it even more because whenever we get customer feedback or testimonials, they can actually go and listen to the voice of the customer and it makes their job better.

[00:22:26] Or the director will say, Hey, I love this because I don’t have to go into a next candidate interview and ask the same questions my recruiter did. I’m caught up. I have the context to ask better informed question. So all of those for us, it’s like we are recreating what you see in the workplace with all the different voices and conversations into this new system of records.

[00:22:46] A.J. Lawrence: The more voices you have, the better that your data set’s going to be. So that would kind of make it easier for people to bring in cuz then you can always add more on top, but you’ll have a better system. You’ll keep feeding. Hey, I love that stuff because I’m already trying to figure out how to bring my team in what we can do on it.

[00:23:06] What are some mistakes you felt you made on your journey to here that you would want other entrepreneurs not to make? Not that we’ll ever listen, because we all are so caught up in our head, but I think it does help to at least know that other people have faced.

[00:23:22] Krish Ramineni: Yeah. From a UX point of view, you can’t change a user’s behavior or ask them to do something fundamentally different if you’re not providing value upfront.

[00:23:30] And so a lot of the things that we do and we build, we try to keep it within that user experience or user flow. So with fireflies, you’re just connecting to your calendar and then the bot reads the calendar. It looks for the zoom link or the Google meet link, and then joins your meeting. And it’s just like a participant that sits in the background.

[00:23:47] So there, we’re not fundamentally changing the way a user goes about using the product. They don’t have to install some crazy app and like hit some record button somewhere, or export the files somewhere. Even if you look at today, like how someone uses zoom to record, they’re gonna hit the record button. Sometimes they forget to hit the record button. Then they’ll get this large 200MB, 400MB file that they have to then go upload somewhere and then get it transcribed. And then that transcription is really expensive cause it’s a dollar a minute and you end up spending almost $60 on transcription.

[00:24:18] And then you have to go now and copy and paste into a word doc and search through it. So that’s what people were doing before fireflies or not doing anything at all. Right? So your biggest friction is actually changing the way people do something. And instead of us saying, we’re gonna make this fancy new app and we’re gonna have them all do all these steps so that they can get value out of it. What we look at is how can we give them value without changing what they have to do today?

[00:24:46] With fireflies, I’m not even thinking about it. It’s a fly on the wall. It sits in the background. It’s recording it. After the meeting, I get a email. I click on that. It’s all saved in the cloud. I can download it if I want, I can search it if I want. I don’t have to deal with any files, any large system stuff. And that alone is value right upfront.

[00:25:04] So I really think deeply about when we made mistakes, it was because we were trying to get users to do more than they can bite out of the apple. So that’s always like the biggest lesson when it comes to customers. Don’t expect them to do a lot without making their life easier.

[00:25:20] It’s always about making their life easier. Sometimes they care about ease more than new functionality, right? So like there are many products that have done wonderfully well where they had very little functionality, but amazing distribution or a very great set of capabilities. Like if you look at Facebook in the early days versus MySpace, MySpace gave you robust functionality. But Facebook had a better distribution pattern and they had an easier way to use the product or the experience. So sometimes those are the things that we have to look at and prioritize from the lens of a user.

[00:25:55] Anytime we overcommitted to doing too much or getting a user to too much, that’s when we knew we weren’t succeeding. So that’s been like a big learning experience. When it comes to people and management, the most important learning lesson that I’ve had, and I’ve made many mistakes along the way, is when hiring folks. Talent, knowledge, skills, work, experience – all those are valuable, but nothing matters more than work ethic and hustle and drive.

[00:26:23] And so there are people that know less about your space, but have a faster learning curve, right. I think I hire for that learning curve and drive today more than someone that tells me, oh, this person’s very knowledgeable in your space or they’re an expert or a veteran.

[00:26:36] I don’t want a veteran necessarily. I want someone that’s willing to learn and adapt and, essentially you need to be more knowledgeable in your space than me over the span of the next six months or the next year. So that’s been a big people learning. And in the past, we’ve given a lot of weightage to experience or people that have knowledge in a certain space. But then they tend to stagnate or they don’t tend to innovate, or they don’t tend to have a plan B when the first plan doesn’t work out. So those are, I think the two big lessons that we’ve learned from making mistakes early on.

[00:27:09] A.J. Lawrence: I’ve experienced that, that look good on paper or even in interviews versus as I kind of learned, it’s like someone who’s done something interesting but doesn’t have the perfect, it’s like, oh, that’s almost now a good sign. It’s like, wow, look, they’ve done some things, but it’s not picture perfect. Okay, that’s a lesson that’s kind of always fun to fail at, as I have done multiple times.

[00:27:34] Given the success and that you are early as someone who’s sitting here over, a little bit longer in my journey. Given your success early in your journey as an entrepreneur, how are you defining what success will be for you long term? Not just now, not just with Firefly. I mean, though you could be lifetime Firefly, but like how are you going about thinking what success will be in the long term for you?

[00:28:00] Krish Ramineni: Yeah. Success for us, that’s a very interesting way to think about long term, but I think any product I build, any solution I build, I want success to be where a person can use the product without needing to ask for help. And without needing to go through a bunch of people in order to experience the product. So I am fully committed to product-led growth and product-led value add. So I want someone to be able to see the product, go to the website, sign up, pay for it, use it, like it, and then continue to use it or not. We need to give the power back to the customer to make that decision today. And that’s a lot more difficult when there’s a lot of pay gates and you’re not really building the product for the end user in mind.

[00:28:45] So for me, success is if they can go through all that without reaching out to our customer support team or without even reaching out to our customer onboarding team and just do that process without having to ask for help.

[00:28:58] That’s the utopia for us where they can just use the product and it just works like magic, right? That aha moment, that’s success for us. Any product, any feature we build, we aim for can someone use this individually without having to go read some guide, go watch some tutorial or go ask for help.

[00:29:15] And that’s the beauty of SaaS, right? If you can have something that scales without human Ops having to scale that. There’s a lot of companies today in order for them to grow, they need to hire a lot more sales headcount, a lot more customer support headcount, a lot more marketing budget. The success is when someone else is talking about your product and that’s how your new customers discover it. And then they’re able to go and have that magical experience without having to depend on anyone to use the product. So that success in SaaS, in general, for me, that goes beyond just fireflies.

[00:29:48] I think we’re getting into a lot more of what is like the purpose of a person in the workplace sort of thing with 20, 30 years from now, are there gonna be just robots that do the work for you and then the what is the place of humans in order to do things. Is it value add that they create, is it something that’s creative? What happens when a lot of rotework is done for you?

[00:30:09] So I think it’s a difficult question to imagine what the next 30-40 years is going to look like. But what I can tell today is, we’re becoming much more closer with technology. We’re not moving away from technology by any means. We are getting closer.

[00:30:24] You hear about like neurolink where they’re putting chips into people’s brains. And like we’re trying to become one with technology. So there is this convergence happening. There are machines that now are gonna be able to pass the touring test, meaning you won’t be able to tell if it’s a machine or a human. Machines that are able to beat you at not just chess, but go in other complicated games.

[00:30:42] So this level of as machine creativity and intelligence grows, the big question for us to figure out is what is the role of humans in the workplace? And maybe new jobs get created in order to support these machines to do very powerful things.

[00:30:57] I was talking to one of my friends this weekend, who is a quant trader. And right if you look at the state of quant trading and what happened, before a lot of times trading was manual with humans, putting in the calls, now it’s all algorithmic, all automated. But you still need engineers and people to write algorithms. And you have researchers that build these models and then you have to run and deploy and test, so just the scale changes.

[00:31:23] So I always think about it as how do you take what’s there and then how do you just scale that up? So one of the things I love to think about is travel, right? Why does it take me 20 hours to travel from here to say Asia? There’s people that are working on planes that’ll try to get you there in like 4 hours or 5 hours, or they’ll take you into orbit and come down. So how do you do things faster? And then how do you do things for scale? So those are questions that I always ask myself.

[00:31:49] So 20-30 years from now in the space of voice, I wonder if someone needs to do something, it is a command away. It’s like, think about Alexa on steroids or Siri on steroids where I don’t even think it’s 20, 30 years away. I think it’s a few years away. If not within the next couple years.

[00:32:08] I could totally see us working on something in the future where I say like, fireflies pull up a report of last quarters earnings and slice to the customer segment that was the most successful for us. And it goes, and does that for me. And then, you know, automates the wave, like 10 steps of the work that I have to do.

[00:32:27] So I think we’re getting there, but I really think of it as automating work. And how do you take something that’s already there, make it faster, better, cheaper, and then democratize that technology to everybody.

[00:32:39] A.J. Lawrence: No, I mean, that’s very cool. And yeah, I agree. I think we’re approaching a time where it’s imagination and logic and the logic structure of how to use imagination that’s gonna guide so much of what we do versus move A to B to C type of piece.

[00:32:56] I’m fascinated by like what fireflies can do in my organization. How should someone who has a small, this is like 5 to 10 people, how should they come in and start using Firefly?

[00:33:08] Krish Ramineni: Yeah. The great thing about fireflies is it’s free to get started. You get free credits upfront and you get more free credits as you invite teammates. So there is a structure around that as well. So the best place to go is fireflies.ai. There’ll be a get started button for free. You can sign up. You’ll get some free transcription credits upfront, and every time you invite a new teammate to your workspace, you’ll get more free transcription credit.

[00:33:30] And you’ll know, within the first like two days, is this valuable? Does this work? Even within the first hour after you get your first meeting recap, that wow, this works. This is great. And then from there, people can decide to upgrade. Our plans are very, very, I think, affordable from the sense of like, we wanna build this for SMBs and startups so that they can get off without being cost prohibitive.

[00:33:54] There are other companies, other products out there that are gonna make you lock into like, You have to pay $10,000 front before you can even deploy the software. We’re like, no, you just pay $10 and you can get started. That’s the difference. And we are very SMB friendly, having been an SMB ourselves.

[00:34:07] So yeah, the best thing to do is just get started, use it at a meeting or better you saw it in the meeting with someone else and you got the recap afterwards and you said, wow, this is pretty cool. Let me try it out. So that’s the place to get started. And then if you’re in sales, you can turn on our CRM integrations.

[00:34:23] You can turn on our slack integration for collaboration. So you can now have these meeting recaps, notes, summaries, transcripts, available everywhere you work, whether it’s in slack, whether it’s in your Dropbox, whether it’s in your CRM, whether it’s in your project management system, like Asana or Trello. The use cases are endless, but we are working very closely with your workflow.

[00:34:41] If you use Calendly to schedule meetings, fireflies can read meetings that are scheduled off calendly and have a zoom link. If you are using Google calendar, outlook, Microsoft teams. So a lot of the people that use the Microsoft suite. So having been at Microsoft and worked on the office suite before, the person that’s full-fledged office user, let’s say they’re using outlook to sign in, they’re having meetings on Microsoft teams and they want to send their recaps to the teams chat. All of that can be done, right. They can even save their files to one drive if they wanted.

[00:35:08] So we wanna work well with every platform we’re platform agnostic. So if you have a meeting on zoom and then your next meeting is on teams and then your meeting at the end of the day is on Google Meet, fireflies will work across all those without you having to change anything.

[00:35:23] A.J. Lawrence: Very very cool. We’ll have everything and we’ll have fireflies.ai, we’ll have it on the show notes and our social media for it. But I would have one product request. Explore podcast, because it would be great to have summaries and sort of notes out of one because the standard package, the ones that are out there are not that good. So the same basic structure, that’s just from the peanut gallery.

[00:35:53] Krish, I really, really appreciate you coming on today. This was great. And I can’t wait to start trying this out on my team and seeing how we can kind of bring it into our organization. So thank you so much for sharing with us today.

[00:36:07] Krish Ramineni: Yeah, no, thank you, A.J.. This was a lot of fun and I will definitely keep the podcast thing in mind, cuz I’ve been doing a lot more of those lately myself. And one of the things I always find is like, wow, this snippet in this podcast is amazing. How can I quickly export that snippet? And we have a feature in fireflies called soundbites where I can extract like a 30-second, 40-second snippet, and then I want to export it and then upload it or do something with it. So I’ve been actually uploading podcasts into fireflies and extracting snippets like that. So I will definitely be driving more on that feature at myself.

[00:36:39] A.J. Lawrence: Thank you. I really can’t wait to see what you guys are doing with this and how much further you go. So thank you.

[00:36:49] This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you like this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye bye.

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